Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged both the West Bengal government and doctors to end the impasse which has crippled the country's healthcare system.
The resident doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi and Safdarjung called off their strike on Saturday morning and said they will return to work. However, AIIMS Association of Resident Doctors issued an ultimatum to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that doctors will launch an indefinite stir if she fails to meet the demands of doctors in the state within 48 hours.
“We condemn the hostile and unapologetic attitude of the government of West Bengal. Our protest at AIIMS, New Delhi continues until justice is meted out. According to the decision taken in a general body meeting held on June 14, RDA issues an ultimatum of 48 hours to the West Bengal government to meet the demands of the striking doctors there, failing which we would be forced to resort to an indefinite strike at AIIMS, New Delhi. We hope that our colleagues across the nation will join us in this hour of need,” the AIIMS RDA said in a statement.
The Federation of Resident Doctors Association, however, said that resident doctors from 14 government hospitals across Delhi will remain on strike today.
On Friday, doctors held protests across the country in solidarity with their colleagues in West Bengal. In Delhi, doctors from AIIMS, Safdarjung, Lok Nayak and GTB hospitals and several private hospitals went on strike, demanding security for their colleagues in West Bengal. Doctors in Bengal are protesting for the last four days after a mob assaulted two medical interns following the death of an elderly patient during the course treatment on Monday evening.
At AIIMS, resident doctors wore bandages on their face and body to protest against Mamata Banerjee’s inaction due to political motivation. Doctors across the country are demanding justice for their Kolkata counterparts and enhanced security.
Dr Amarinder Singh Malhi, president of Resident Doctors’ Association of AIIMS on Friday said that West Bengal government needs to step in and take control of the situation. Dr Malhi also met Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday and requested him to intervene.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged both the West Bengal government and doctors to end the impasse which has crippled the country’s healthcare system.
On Friday, doctors in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana as well as other places stayed away from work. In Odisha, SCB Medical College and Hospital doctors and students and Odisha Medical Services Association (OMSA) members took out a protest march while over 500 resident doctors, junior and interns at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar stayed away from the work.
In Karnataka, over 15,000 doctors and nurses in private hospitals joined the strike. In Kerala, over 3,000 post-graduate medical students and house surgeons went on a strike. Alone in West Bengal, over 200 doctors of four medical colleges, including the NRS Medical College and Hospital have submitted mass resignations.
Meanwhile, agitating junior doctors on Friday rejected a proposal from Mamata Banerjee for talks at the state secretariat Nabanna. Doctors said that they want Mamata to come down to the NRS Medical College and Hospital to listen to their grievances. Doctors are demanding from Mamata to apologise for trying to give a communal touch to the entire issue.